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Mafia and the Dark Net Combine

Leo James Author Interview

Leo James Author Interview

Layers of Deception is a thrilling crime novel that delves into cyber-security, the dark web and criminal gangs in the Far East. What served as your inspiration while writing this novel?

Basically I wanted to write the type of book (and movie) that I enjoy myself. As for where the actual story came from, I started writing about situations I experienced over the years and the plot emerged as I built it out. I found that when I’m in the zone and typing away the story just unfolded quite naturally.

I wanted a main character that readers would really empathise with, so while he’s a very successful businessman on one level, I think there’s also a real vulnerability to him, mentally at least. I think it’s this side of him that makes him stand out and draws the reader into his life and problems.

I began writing during my recovery from a serious fall into a storm drain whilst on business in Singapore. Stuck in hospital I found it cathartic to write. It helped with my recovery, both mentally and physically. That was the start. Once back to work, and traveling internationally, I would write everywhere: on planes, trains, staying at hotels, at any given opportunity.

What is your professional experience and how has that helped you write this novel?

I worked for over 25 years in the technology sector – mainly internet security and international fraud detection. I wanted to bring my experiences of business deals and Internet security in the heart of banking systems, where you’d never expect everything to go very wrong very quickly, combining this as a thriller where modern-day mafia and the dark net combine to corrupt the heart of the international banking system.

I think it would really appeal to people who understand the techie stuff, but my aim was to make it perfectly accessible for non technical people too.

Whilst my time in the IT industry, international travel and experiences, equipped me with many stories over the years, my subsequent work as a therapist has enabled me to study all aspects of human behavior. I specialize in treating people with issues around anxiety, phobias and trauma. We are all fallible human beings. One of the main things that therapy gives me is empathy – helping me to understand and get into the mind of the characters in my writing

Kuala Lumpur is a detailed and fascinating backdrop to your story. Why did you choose this location for the setting to you novel?

The thriller draws on my many years experience of doing business in Kuala Lumpur as an IT business entrepreneur in the computer security sector trying to land contracts in Kuala Lumpur.

Despite its challenges, Kuala Lumpur is easily my favorite city in Asia. The city is always on the move, spurred by high technology, a strong knowledge-base and capital-intensive industries. The difference between rich and poor is very stark and there are issues with crime. Traffic is a nightmare as well. All of that aside, the food is fantastic and there are very few cities that are so inherently culturally diverse.

What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?​

I’m working on my second novel, a thriller set in Kuala Lumpur. It’s about a Malaysian family who illegally buy a Vietnamese child – a boy – the result of a turbulent relationship between a UK businessman and a Vietnamese woman living in Kuala Lumpur. The boy thrived in his new loving family unit, but his life and all those around him were about to be devastated when his real mother, who had since married a rich American businessman – wants him back.

In addition I have completed two more plots. A sequel to Layers of Deception where a child is kidnapped by Malaysian triads as a means to extort funds from a UK business based in Kuala Lumpur. The other novel is a thriller based on my fall in Singapore.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Layers of Deception: An utterly gripping, international crime thriller. by [James, Leo]With international backers, big business deals and Internet security in the heart of banking systems, you’d never expect everything to go very wrong very quickly. And when things go wrong, they go very wrong! Layers of Deception is an international crime thriller where modern-day mafia and dark net combine to corrupt the heart of the international banking system.

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An Indian Goes Around the World – II

An Indian Goes Around the World – Ii: What I Learned from My Thirty-Day European Odyssey by [Prabhakaran, M.P.]

M.P. Prabhakaran takes readers across ten countries in Europe. The exciting journey is filled with amazing experiences, new trials, immense learning, and lovely interactions. Reading the book made me understand why the author modified English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley’s words and said: “The more I travel, the more I discover my ignorance.” Traveling the world is truly fun, at least that’s what I got from M. P. Prabhakaran’s book. I learned quite a number of things as I read.

The first city the reader is introduced to is Stockholm. The fact that the author visited the Swedish city twice confirms just how much he loved being in Stockholm. One can say that M. P. Prabhakaran is inquisitive in nature. That is perhaps the reason why he knows about a lot of people, their culture and the political climate in their respective countries. He is also charismatic and easy to talk to. I loved the conversation he had with the Swedish woman married to an Iraqi while riding a bus in Vaxholm. I empathized with the woman and her baby. I loved their conversation though. Mr. Prabhakaran knows how to keep the conversation going and that’s why the woman felt comfortable talking about her life with a stranger.  The author’s conversations are among the things that made the book a lovely read.

It was interesting reading about the author’s encounter with the Russian Mafia on a St. Petersburg street. Being a target because you are a foreigner is no fun at all. There was a lesson at the end of it all; don’t put all your cards in one pocket.  You would have imagined that his trip would have been smooth without any trouble. His harassment with the mafia was however just a little problem that was averted without the author being harmed. His trip was mostly pleasant, with only a few incidents that can be ignored.

From Stockholm to Bergen, to Helsinki, Prague, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Moscow, and all the amazing places the author went made the story exotic, for someone that hasn’t been to all these places. Having to travel through all those countries in just 30 days is not a simple thing. The author enjoyed walking, taking the train and even flying to go see the world and learn about societies.

The author is knowledgeable in the political state of the countries he traveled. I admired that in him. I would be there reading about his beautiful trips, then out of nowhere, he would throw in a fact about the leadership of a country either in the past or present. I love that he reminded the reader of a little history that may have been forgotten.

I understand why M. P. Prabhakaran took to traveling in Europe. Given an opportunity, I would travel the world as he did. I loved that he also documented every interesting thing because I enjoyed reading his tales. “An Indian Goes Around the World – Ii: What I Learned From My Thirty-Day European Odyssey” is a lovely book that will make you want to travel.

Pages: 270 | ASIN: B0794N38FB

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The Scented Bones: The Svabodina Case Files

Angel Svabodina is a rookie forensic anthropologist, enjoying the beginning of her new career. That joy comes crashing down when she figures out the skeleton she’s working on is not human and then it vanishes.

She throws herself fully into the case without thinking about the parties involved, a psychopomp associate, and paranormal mafia families made up of vampires and werewolves—or the consequences.

When she sees there’s no avoiding the inevitable, Angel has to suck it up and work with the werewolves to solve the case but can she trust them?

Werewolves and witches are in a centuries-old feud, but that doesn’t stop the shivers running down her spine from one wolf in particular. Rights and wrongs become blurred, as she is tormented by her past and accepting who she truly is while searching for the skeleton. What’s more, nothing comes for free, including information. To get what she needs from the werewolf don, Angel has to meet with the fae queen. Can she meet her without repercussions and solve the case?

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Welcome to Deep Cove

Welcome to Deep Cove (Vellian Mysteries Book 1) by [Reed, Grant T.]4 StarsGrant Reed’s Welcome to Deep Cove is an energetic tale that involves intrigue, action and fantastical adventure. The first in a series, but using characters from another, we start off our adventure with an elite military unit infiltrating a potential enemy country. We immediately meet Jack, a crazy and entertaining prisoner. After things begin to go horribly wrong we switch our attention to our main men, Garret and Merle. To call Merle a man is a stretch as he is actually a dragon. The mix of fantastical creatures delivered as if they are completely normal and expected is quite well done. As the story goes on we meet an ogre, a robot named P.C. and some minotaurs. Garret is a former military man, part of an elite guard for the king, who has traded in his sword for a private investigators license. Garret’s new occupation draws him into a possible war with the Syndicate: the mafia arm of this world.

While the story starts off with some awesome punch it gets slow pretty fast as we watch Garret mosey about in his mediocre life. It’s not until part way through the tale that the energy picks up and we’re on for an exciting ride.

Reed does an amazing job with his descriptions and it’s easy to picture what everyone looks like in your mind as you read. The hair on the minotaurs and the scales on Merle are all described with such detail you could almost touch them.

If there were to be any criticism it would be regarding the lack of gender. Ninety five percent of the characters in this particular volume of the tale are men. There are around three women who we actually meet: a drunk girl at a bar, an older homemaker who has seemingly misplaced her husband and Coral. Coral is the only woman we meet who has a name. There is another woman who is referred to, but we never meet her. Even though she has a name and seems to have importance to the story we don’t see Coral very much and the first time we do she’s very cold. Her role is only briefly explained and her purpose is not entirely clear.

Aside from the lack of strong female characters this book is very well written and the story is thoroughly engaging. This is exceptionally high praise for a book that is published by an indie-author.

Welcome to Deep Cove is a great introduction to the characters and power balances of Deep Cove. The maps at the beginning of the story add to the visualization of the tale and make it that much more believable. The tale is expertly woven and it does indeed leave you ready and excited for the stories to come.

Pages: 289 | ASIN: B00J1KUXH0

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